Walt Mossberg

Follow the Election Anywhere

Now there’s a cool new way to follow the 2008 presidential election anywhere you go. Today I discovered a rich, data-packed app for the iPhone and iPod Touch that displays updated polling data, both nationally and state-by-state, for the presidential campaign. It’s called Election ’08, and can be downloaded here. It costs 99 cents, and it requires at least the 2.0 version of the iPhone/Touch OS.

This iPhone app lets you track the campaign anywhere you go.

This iPhone app lets you track the campaign anywhere you go.

Election ’08 contains the latest national tracking polls and performs an algorithmic calculation of who’s winning currently in each state based on multiple available polls in that state. Then, it generates an electoral vote projection. It also gives the sources of the polls, and provides recent and historical data for context.

Some iTunes commenters complained that the app’s polling data were stale, but today, it seems up to date.

The program, from a company called Chimp Software, lets you view the data in a variety of ways–most recent data, alphabetical by state, battleground states only, or in lists arranged by each candidate’s strongest states, in descending order (McCain is cleaning up in Utah, Obama is uncatchable in DC.)

If you care about politics, and understand that polls aren’t perfect, Election ’08 can put a snapshot of the political horse race in your pocket.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik